Stanford Research Finds Gender Differences in Reporting of Levels of Pain

A study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine finds that women report more intense levels of pain than men in almost every disease category. The researchers analyzed pain data of 72,000 adult patients. Patients were asked to rate their pain on a scale of 0 to 10 with zero meaning no pain and 10 representing the “worst imaginable” pain. The patients were suffering from 250 different afflictions.

Atul Butte, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford and a coauthor of the study, reports, “We saw higher pain scores for female patients practically across the board. In many cases, the reported difference approached a full point on the scale. A pain score improvement of one point is what clinical researchers view as indicating that a pain medication is working.”

“It’s still not clear if women actually feel more pain than men do,” Dr. Butte continued. “But they are certainly reporting more pain than men do.”

The research was published on the website of the Journal of Pain.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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